1. Teacher Life

Zoom Icebreaker: Virtual Name Tag

I recently started the spring term teaching my edtech class via Zoom. I have 15 students, all but one, undergraduate education majors. Most know each other a bit from prior classes.

I had previously conducted one-on-one Zooms with each student, but I was still looking for a kickoff activity to start my first session.

A friend pointed me to this “face to face” icebreaker that I adapted to the virtual classroom. Inspired by: ID Numbers at Playmeo.

Here’s how:

I created a Name Tag image (view / download below) to use as background and uploaded to Jamboard to share with the class during our session. Tip: You can add the background to your first Jamboard slide then use duplicate to create more. Then I added each student’s name to one card – so that every student had their own name tag to work on.

My Sample

Married 30 years, 2 children, 2 grandchildren.

Educator for 50 years

Moved from Rochester to Portland in 2009

In 2020, I biked 1500 miles (that’s my trusty VanMoof X2)

I shared this sample I made for myself and gave them this instructions:

  • Add to your name tag using shapes, symbols, characters, sketches, images (your own or clip art).
  • Don’t make it too easy or too hard.
  • Be creative and have fun.
  • Then we’ll all try to “read” your name tag.

Students spent a few minutes creating their name tags on their assigned card. Note: Good idea to have them turn off cameras until they’re done. Then we went through each card and tried to guess what students “wrote” about themselves. Note: Good to use both Zoom chat and verbal guesses to increase responses.

It went great – students had fun, a chance to be creative and to find out more about each other. The entire activity took about 25 minutes at a comfortable pace. A great way to kick off a virtual session. For larger sessions, participants could share in smaller breakout groups.

You can preview or download the name tag background I made:


Feature image photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

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